Garden Types - Created Date : 2.8.2019
Peculiarities and Plants – Romaine Lettuce
The best and most amazing thing about lettuce, besides eating the tender green leaves, is the amazing fact that if the bottom of the stump is saved and placed in water, regeneration and new growth will occur. Above is a photograph of three romaine ‘stumps’ in various levels of regrowth. All I did to achieve this miracle was place each piece in a half inch of water, check the water level daily, and marvel as the stump began to grow anew.
I am growing the romaine in a basement window well, and that explains the VERY dirty window in the photo as it is below ground level. The setting for the lettuce doesn’t look nice, but it creates the perfect environment for regrowing leafy greens…cool and bright all day. Experiment yourself with this method the next time you have a head of lettuce with the stem still intact. You have nothing to lose and a free harvest of lettuce to grow.
Important Tip: Romaine Lettuce is one type of produce easy to find in the organic form. Often packaged as three hearts of romaine, spend just a dollar or two more, and you have salad free from any unnecessary pesticides.
I tried to grow romaine lettuce last year. I wasn’t sure exactly how to. It never looked like that. When do you get to eat your produce? and What do you mean “stump”? I am new to growing lettuce. I would love more information about growing lettuce. Thank you.
i am interested also….. like ruth & viki —- not sure what you mean by stem? i have the core-base as bought at the local chain grocery store. does not have roots….and then i just place this flat-bottomed core in a container with 1/2 water & no soil?? never transfer to soil? more info please…thanks
Hi Kathi, After I cut off the top portion of the romaine lettuce, I am left with a “stumpy” looking end where the roots once were. I put this end in water and within a day or two new green leaves begin to grow in the center of the stump. I do not plant it in the ground again. What I do is harvest the new leaves when they are a few inches tall. These leaves are much smaller than the original leaves, but just as tasty. If the bottom area that is in the water begins to deteriorate or go soft, I then toss it out. As long as new leaves are growing, just keep it in water, and change that water every day or two to keep things fresh and bacteria free.
I don’t cut any of mine away because mine has already been cut away by the supermarket. This summer I am hoping to grow some of my own in the vegetable garden. I think I will cut ]the root end close to the leaves the same way they are cut in the packages I buy. I hope this helps. Kathy
If you kept the romaine for years perhaps that would be true, but I think as long as it stays green and growing there is nutrition within its leaves. Think of growing sprouts, they have no soil to grow in, yet they are loaded with nutrients. Also, plants grown aquaponically are high in nutrients. Your concern is a good point though, and something to consider in how long you keep the romaine going. Thanks for the comment. Kathy
Micaela, I’m not sure if the stump could be transplanted. I have never tried it, but my instinct is that it would not work. There would be no roots available to take up moisture and nutrients. After the romaine is cut away from the soil, I think the only option is to keep it going for a while hydroponically.
Possibly, but I don’t think I would personally…not sure what rooting hormone is made out of and I am trying to go organic. The way the stems are cut here in NJ, they are flat and hard, if roots were to grow I think they would sprout above that portion.
An organic rooting hormone can be made from willow. take some stems/twigs (especially good if there are buds, I understand) and crush them/break them/mash them and place in a mason jar. Fill it with water and leave it for a week or two. The water then carries the willow rooting hormones and work to spur a lot of plants to root.
You might want to google this to get more information, but I have used it to help plant starts.
I do use a lot of water (2¨ in each pot every day) but my romaine stumps are in potting soil and 8¨ black pots, bright sunlight. 4 out of 5 stumps have nice new leaves. my neighbor is a “master gardener and she said stick them in soil with lots of water and presto … salad
i have my romaine replanted in soil and it is like the whole thing has come back to life! it is nice and green and growing noticeable amounts each day. i just have it in a small pot on the windowsill in very moist well drained soil.
This is such a clever idea. Thanks for posting this! I’d heard about it with celery, but never with lettuce. I gave it a try, and it worked! My household has been completely entertained watching this little lettuce grow. (Okay, I’ll admit it…apparently we need to get out more.)
I have tried the organic romaine lettuce from root as well, although I planted mine straight in the ground and was able to pick from it 4 or 5 times. The base will eventually shoot up and start forming seeding, but I’m very pleased with the life I’ve gotten out of it!
I am growing mine in a raised bed outside. I did nothing to them, just stuck them into the ground so that the root sections was firmly seated and within 2 days I had new leaves coming up. I have found it works with red cabbage, onions and celery also so far. I am going to be trying more “2nd” helpings as I get them.
this is great,I’m definitely gonna try it! have tried it with onions and it worked! I don’t really like onions, I did it for experiment’s sake,but I do like lettuce so this is gonna be so cool! I also have a strawberry plant for the first time!! ?? thanks for sharing this!
This encourages me to try it with butter lettuce. It’s my favorite, but we can’t get any planted til fall. And it’s expensive to buy. However, if I spend $2.99 for a head of it, take off some of the leaves to eat and then plant the rest….hmmmm.
really?!?! This is awesome… and I guess kind of a no brainer when you think about it LOL. I love this, thank you so much for sharing ( I love posts where the little light bulb comes on haha) I always hate having to just toss the excess Romaine so I will be trying this one soon!
Trying the romaine lettuce. I have 3 stumps. Only one really looks good. The other two have sprouted leaves, but very sparse.
After 2 weeks, the stronger one started growing roots so I planted in dirt. I haven’t harvested the lettuce to eat yet. This is fun!
For those concerned about transplanting – most plants that do well with this re-rooting method (which is what you’re doing – the plant had roots at one point, the grower or the store cut them off, and it’s still living (if it weren’t the whole thing would either be very slimy or paper-dry), so it’s ready to re-grow roots. If you want to transplant to dirt, start it first in a dish of sand, potting moss, or vermiculite (from a garden-supply store), or a ‘rooting medium’, which is a mix of those ingredients, and keep it very moist. Then when you see leaves start to grow, transplant to your garden or to a pot of dirt. I haven’t tried this with lettuce yet (although I will now that I’ve read this!!), but I have with other plants. Some will grow, some won’t, depending on how recently they were picked.
For those worried about nutrients, the main nutrients in lettuce are formed by the plant from water and sunlight. If you keep growing the lettuce (or any plant) in water and want to be sure it’s getting all the nutrients it needs, or all the ones you’d want to eat, you can either make a fertilizing solution or buy one from a hydroponic gardening store. Google terms like ‘home-made hydroponic fertilizer’ or ‘hydroponic nutrients’. You can also just put safe, mineral-rich things in the growing water. A clean eggshell, for example, will slowly release calcium. A few coffee grounds or a used tea bag will have a lot of nutrients that didn’t make it into the brew – just don’t add too much or you’ll overwhelm your poor baby plant!
I got the little gel pellets at our local dollar tree store and grew them with water. then when I used some leeks, I placed then in the bowl of the grown pellets and soon there after a week or so, the roots started to regrow and it began growing the green stalk. I would recommend buying these water gel pellets to regrow any stalks. just keep adding small amounts of water so that they will not shrink back.
Hi Josh, Make sure you have a minimal amount of water at the bottom of container…only about a 1/2 inch is perfect. It could be your stump was too far gone when you started. Try again! You have nothing to lose other than something you would normally throw away anyway. I just tried some green onions and they did well too. They are about five inches taller than when I started. Kathy
I put mine in a clear glass in the window changing the water every other day but after about 2 weeks it started to rot. I tossed it and tried again. I decided to change the water daily and the second round has grown faster than the first. I spoke to an old timer in the neighborhood who told me to plant them in soil. FIrst thing to do in 2013! Wish me luck
I have a romaine lettuce regrowing. It’s now in potting soil in a large pot in my apt. It has grown about 6 inches tall but the leaves are pretty light and thin, not thick and bushy. Should I start pinching off the leaves (eating them? =) ) and it will continue to grow? Thanks
I don’t know much about this, so excuse me if this is a dumb question. But you mentioned the “seed stalk” and to just throw away when that grows. Wouldn’t you want to use that seed stalk for more to grow or is it not truly seeds to plant?
Hi Gabrielle, When herbs and lettuces send up a seed stalk it often causes the plant’s leaves to become very bitter tasting. A seed stalk on a romaine stump growing indoors would most likely not produce seed, or if it did, since the stalk flowers would not be pollinated by flying insects such as bees, any seed produced would not be viable or grow. Thanks for the question. It was a good one! Kathy
Hi Millie, I have just put the romaine in water. I did however root green onions the same way, and they are still growing on the my windowsill. I found the romaine sent up a seed stalk after it grew for a bit, and when that happened the lettuce turned very bitter. I would suggest planting it in soil if you want to keep it going as long as possible. Thanks for your comment and questions. Kathy
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Throw it away, try again…grow in a cooler spot. I found that when temperatures are higher where I am growing the romaine, the stalk seems to form faster. My best luck has been in a basement window. Good luck.
great idea,i will try this for sure.note: this also works with fresh basil ,just break off a stem and place in glass of fresh water and place on window sill .you will have fresh basil all year long from one “sprig” check water leval weekly .jim b
What does the seed stalk look like? My stump has been in water for 3 days and I see several tiny pointed green growth coming up. Are those new leaves forming or seed stalk? How do I tell? This is all new to me. Thanks
Some kind of animal came to my garden and ate all my lettuce down to the ground. It turned brown on top where it met the dirt. Noticed yesterday that a few are getting new shoots. Is it o.k. to eat if indeed it does grow?
You will never be able to grow a full head of romaine, but you can use the little sprouts off the side until the plant can’t produce anymore. If your stump is rotting on the bottom make sure you have the container in a cool place and only a small amount of water. Check the water and if it seems to be getting “fouled” rinse the stump and replace the water. I hope it works for you. ??
Hi, Wendy! I use this technique for my plants I use as food: put some vinegar in that water. When it starts to get murky, it is most likely bacteria, fungi, or both. White vinegar is great at killing both bacteria and fungi. My first Romaine heart died for the same reason your’s did; I didn’t get to the water in time (to add vinegar). So, with the second batch I was determined to keep a better eye and watch for murk. I change the water and switch between filtered and filtered mixed with tap water. As I said before, once I see too much unwanted growth, I spray in some vinegar.
There are some chive plants I’ve been growing for half a year with the same method. One died, then another, but the rest have been kicking pretty strong. (A cat was messing with them, then I moved and one seemed to have been uprooted. The two last a month to three months each before dying.)
Hi Grace, Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I would use the flat area on the bottom. This is where the cabbage was cut away from the roots in the ground. Place this piece in a small amount of water to keep it wet, keep in a cool place in a good amount of sunlight, watch for regrowth. Use the regrowth in salads, etc. It won’t regrow into a whole cabbage head, but most likely you will get some tender new growth to use in dishes.
The timing of me reading this is amazing! My husband just chucked the Romaine lettuce stump in the garbage after making our kids some sandwiches, and I just put a glass jar in the recycling bag. I ran downstairs and put the stump in the jar on the kitchen windowsill… now we wait and see! Thanks for the tip ??
Romaine is my favorite lettuce (and in from boston. …). ??
Have been wanting to try this for some time. Your results are encouraging. Thanks for the follow. I’m delighted to return it– you have a fun and informative blog here. Gail
Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog today and coincidentally, I just planted romaine like this about 2 weeks ago. I left it in the water for about 5 days and then transferred it outside (we live in Florida so it’s been nice and warm for them) and it seems to be doing well. Smooth bright leaves (albeit, pretty sparse) and about a good 10 inches tall each but like I mentioned, there aren’t many leaves at all…is this typical, do you think? Or should I maybe start over? I know you mentioned that they’ll never be huge and bushy like the first head it was planted from but this seems exceptionally thin.
It will never regrow into another “head” of romaine. It will give you side shoots to eat in salad. I have not put mine into the garden…at least not yet. When it seems to stop producing leaves, and the bottom gets mushy or very discolored…out it goes into the compost heap.
Reblogged this on Tears create rainbows in our hearts and commented:
I love this idea! will have to try right away as i got those lettuce! Thanks a million! I will reblog this…this needs to go around..lol! ??
I am new to gardening. I havan ice berg lettuce . I cut the top part n put d stump in a bowl with little Tap water. After five days I could see tiny leaves growing in the centre.bnow my questions are
1. When do I re plant it in soil. And how should I re plant . Should I bury the whole ice berg in soil or leave the top part a little out.
2. Should I just keep changing water every day.
Hi Sangita, I have never replanted mine, I just harvest the new leaves and use them in salads, etc. I know that some of the people who have commented have tried replanting in soil, but I am not sure of the results. Yes, I would change the water every day or every other. Thanks for the comment. Have a great day!
Heya.. Im Vijay based from hyderabad/India. Im here in Dallas Fort Worth, TX for a short stay.
the first time i visited walmart here.. i fell in love for the Romaine Lettuce (was not sure how it tastes, leave alone dint knew what it is in fact).
As it was a $ for 3 shoots.. i got one.
The next time i visited the Walmart store.. i got $15 stock and ate them in flat 4days in everything i ate.
Im a vegan and this came very handy during this trip.. lucky enough to find cucumbers/carrots/ multi color cabbage – all my basic foods.
Today after reading your blog.. i had put in a heart in water.
Hoping it grows out well.
I have started doing this as a cheap way to feed my bearded dragon. No pesticides, and not wasting the bottoms. A week of growing has given me 3¨stems far. Going to try planting them to grow even more.
Hi. Can you give me some advice on replanting iceburg lettuce. I go through “atleast” a head a week. And I’m thinking as I go through them I can soak them then plant them in the ground when it gets warm out. I’m in New England. Do you think this will work or will they just turn into gross mushy ends in gross water? I’ve never done this.
I have never attempted iceberg lettuce. The leaves, since they curl around the head so tightly, might not grow…what you could try is soaking the bottom core in an inch or two of water and see if some extra leaves would grow from the stump. Let me know how it goes for you. Thanks so much for visiting the blog today. ??
Timelesslady: You are a very inspiring lady. I really enjoyed reading your posts. I prefer leaf lettuce, and will experiment with your technique on some leaf lettuce I have growing. I wonder about what to do for cilantro?
Hi timelesslady, yes I know cilantro is a cool weather plant. I am praying for a real spring. You never know here in the Midwest. Of course that is pretty much the same all across the country. We used to have such long cool springs when I was a child. I just try the best to practice the 3 Rs. You have a blessed day.
I am so intrigued by this! After reading about regrowing veggies from my scraps, I started a celery and a romaine stump in water. Both were doing great. After about 10 days, I planted them in a small pot, and they both seem to have stopped growing since that time. It’s been about a week since I planted them. Any ideas on what is going on? Should I take them out of the dirt and put them back in water or just give them more time? I’m wondering also if I could plant them outside in my garden? Since I’m a complete newbie to this, I have lots of questions, but I would love to be able to regrow these successfully! Thanks for any advice you can give!
Hi Pam, I have never replanted them, only grown them on hydroponically until they stop producing or the stump becomes mushy. I don’t think they develop a large enough root system to draw water out of the soil once they are harvested.
Thank you for the prompt reply. I think I may try them both ways and see what happens. I enjoy an experiment. This bring up another question. If they are only growing in water, where does the plant get its nutrients? So many questions . . .
I too am regrowing romaine in water. when do I know to cut the leaves? and do I cut it down to the cut off piece I started with? will that grow again/ How many times can you grow from the same stump? seems the one looks good but isent enough for a salad…..lol
I only take one additional harvest. I think the plant might continue to grow, but at that point I would consider the romaine stump spent, and compost it or throw it away. At some point the nutrients the plant contains will diminish without growing in actual soil or an hydroponic garden set up. I would add what you have to your salads.
I have planted the cut off piece in dirt outside. Cut the leaves off the lettuce to the stump each time, and each time it grew again. I placed about six plants in a large container, and we had lettuce all summer long. It was incredible.
Love to hear this as I have never tried to plant into dirt. Did you take any photos…please share on this post in a comment if you can. The question has come up many times and I’ve never had a good answer. Thanks so much!
Usually, it’s the initial shock on the transfer and, also, sometimes it’s them esablishing roots, mine took about two weeks to start regrowing. I did the same with celery and some romaine. They should be just fine with a little time and love
I didn’t replant…just grew in water. I thought about planting again, but decided it was easier to just grow in water. I think others might have replanted…you can check through the comments to see…it’s been so many years…I don’t remember if anyone did or not. Sorry I am not more help to you.
I stuck the romaine heart stump directly in the ground last Saturday 6/13/15. It has already sprouted new leaves by Thursday 6/18/15 and is growing surprisingly quick! Sidenotes: Zone 6, its been raining for at least a week straight, & I already use organic fertilizer and repellent in my garden.
Wow! I’m very impressed by this. I have only grown it again in water…never tried to reroot it in the ground. I’ll have to advise others who ask if it will grow in the ground to read your comment. Thanks so much!
I am trying to do this and have potted it in a planter a couple weeks ago. It seems to have stopped growing or at least slowed down. I have it inside and every time I take it outside it wilts. Can you please provide me with some tips? How long until it becomes a large head of lettuce or will it stay small? It has gotten to be about 6-8 inches tall but the leaves are very small. Thank you
Hi, I haven’t ever planted this in dirt, but have just harvested the side leaves that sprout while the romaine stump is in the water. At some point, the plant will stop producing. I don’t know if anyone has had any luck with it re-rooting in soil.
I have done this before with ease. I somehow fail the celery transplanting phase, but do enjoy those, as well as green onions, as regrowth projects. They are festively beautiful while they return to abundance
Thanks Carol…I haven’t tried it for a few years. Lately I’ve been cooking up compost with most of my veggie scraps. It is fascinating, but I can see how a hot window would hinder the growth. What a joy to live in Florida though…warm most of the year…lovely!
Yes I have done this and should again. thanks for the reminder. With the problems in the Romaine gardens lately it would be smart.
ps, Thanks for the follow. I don’t do this as often as I should but I do reblog a lot of Godly information I get from others. I am mostly a crafty grandma and try to stay clear of subjects that others can do better.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” ~ John 3:16
“The Lord is good and glad to teach the proper path to all who go astray; he will teach the ways that are right and best to those who humbly turn to him. And when we obey him, every path he guides us on is fragrant with his loving-kindness and his truth.
Garden Care Tools
Equipping yourself with knowledge of care goes a long way in your DIY garden project. Continue reading the following for basic tips you will need, including weed control.
Having the necessary tools
Your hands are not the only tools you need for gardening, but you don't need to buy too many tools at once. Instead, focus on the basic tools to help you with your gardening.
Gloves: Without the right pair of gloves, you may have to deal with splinter shortage. Do not buy large gloves because they are difficult to use. Also, be sure to keep yourself away from insects and water when storing.
Hand trowel: Perfect for digging around and planting.
Spade: It makes it easier to dig holes and move mounds from one place to another.
Rake: It is a very important tool if you want to keep your garden clean from debris and leaves.
Hoe: Choose an anchor according to your garden type. If your garden is perennial, you may need a finer hoe.
Loppers: If you have something to walk around in your garden, you need a couple.
Long hose: Select the one with rain bar and adjustable nozzle.
Wheelbarrow: If you use compost or have a backyard with more soil, you need it. It can help you take a pound and pound.
Cutting off overgrown or dead trunks and branches is a fundamental task to keep your plants free from infections and diseases. Other garden plants such as shrubs, trees and roses need to be cared for and pruned.
Tip: When pruning trees, you should not remove 30% of the leaves of a tree at once. You can ask your garden experts to determine the pruning method you need for the task at hand.
At the end of winter, damaged shrubs and trees buddha. Never wait until spring. Keep in mind that damaged or injured stems and leaves can become infected and make the disease even stronger. It is better to trim the pruning or pruning of the broken limbs, even if the storms in winter cause other damage.